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 We Came As Romans - Understanding What We've Grown To Be [Album Review]

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PostSubject: We Came As Romans - Understanding What We've Grown To Be [Album Review]   Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:38 am

Understanding What We've Grown To Be by We Came As Romans

Album Artwork:

Reviewed by ZXoftheDarkness on August 28th 2011
Reposted on February 4th 2012

Genre - Metal / Post - Hardcore / Classical

Music Staff:

We Came as Romans
Eric Choi - drums
Brian "Lou" Cotton - rhythm guitar
Andrew Glass - bass
Joshua Moore - lead guitar
Kyle Pavone - keyboards, clean vocals
David Stephens - unclean vocals

Additional personnel
Josh Wells of Close to Home - vocals on tracks 1 & 12

Joey Sturgis - production, engineering, mixing, mastering

Introduction: I got this album early since a friend of mine knows the band personally, and let me borrow the album so that I could listen. I was blown away, what a step-up from their last album. I thought they were going to go down the generic route, but nope, more violins, the guitar is heavier, and the abundance of creativity is completely apparent throughout this record, in particular the very last song "Understanding What We've Grown To Be", which after I heard it, jumped up into my top ten song list. However, there are definitely some flaws that keep this from being in my top ten. Let's jump into a track by track review.

Song Titles:

1."Mis//Understanding" (featuring Josh Wells of Close to Home)3:57
2."Everything as Planned" 3:39
3."What I Wished I Never Had" 4:01
4."Cast the First Stone" 3:35
5."The Way That We Have Been" 3:44
6."War Inside" 5:12
7."Stay Inspired" 3:34
8."Just Keep Breathing" 4:00
9."Views That Never Cease, to Keep Me from Myself" 3:48
10."What My Heart Held" 4:06
11."I Can't Make Your Decisions for You" 3:43
12."Understanding What We've Grown to Be" (featuring Josh Wells of Close to Home)4:15

Track 1: Mis//Understanding:
The introduction song, featuring a vocalist from another band. Not the most unique of songs, but it does have some nice catchy breakdowns, vocals as expected are top notch, both harsh and clean. General blood pumper. Should get you warmed up for the album.
Track Rating: 7.2/10 (Good)

Track 2: Everything as Planned:
This song is pretty odd, while it has some unique instruments, the riffs are pretty generic. But they fixed that right up by accompanying those generic riffs with some lovely violin. Also, they use a type of bell throughout the song about halfway in that really is almost never used in this genre. Definitely makes it stand out.
Track Rating: 8.4/10 (Very Good)

Track 3: What I Wished I Never Had:
The guitar in this song is amazing, the song immediately kicks in with a blazing solo combined with some catchy riffs. Then it goes into some heavier scream fueled breakdowns which are really good blood pumpers. Before combining the catchy solos and the blood pumping breakdowns. This is a great song to jump into a mosh pit too.
Track Rating: 8.7/10 (Very Good)

Track 4: Cast The First Stone:
Amazing guitar intro, has a very melodic feel to it throughout the song. However I feel that this song would have been better if it had more cleans compared to harsh vocals. But standing where it is at the moment, it's more than enough.
Track Rating: 8.2/10 (Very Good)

Track 5: The Way That We Have Been:
Starts off with a violin fueled breakdown, then goes into the cleans, this song just seems to lag, and everything seems out of place. Especially the keyboards and the harsh vocals. Not recommended.
Track Rating: 5.8/10 (Average)

Track 6: A War Inside:
One of the most intense songs on the record, but still generic. Pass, it's a shame as this is the longest song on the record. There is one good part in it, however it is ruined with the harsh vocals, if it was just kept as an instrumental solo, this song would be rated much higher. However, the piano finger snap solo is brilliant. So ya, this is a mixed bag of a song.
Track Rating: 6.3/10 (Above Average)

Track 7: Stay Inspired:
Another cool song with a nice intro, but the rest was pretty generic.
Track Rating: 5.9/10 (Average)

Track 8: Just Keep Breathing:
Another blood pumper with a great intro. The chorus is what really stands out in this song though. Definitely worth checking out.
Track Rating: 8.1/10 (Very Good)

Track 9: Views That Never Cease, to Keep Me from Myself:
Piano intro, depth, melody, what more could you ask for? One of the most stand out songs on the record. The guitar is also noteworthy as it is very nice.
Track Rating: 8.7/10 (Very Good)

Track 10: What My Heart Held:
A pretty good song, seemed to take elements from above songs and paste them together. The effort wasn't groundbreaking but it was listenable. Worth checking out.
Track Rating: 7.5/10 (Good)

Track 11: I Can't Make Your Decisions For You:
Another song that pasted elements from the rest of the album. Same as track 10 practically.
Track Rating: 7.5/10 (Good)

Track 12: Understanding What We've Grown To Be:
Absolutely breathtaking, this song jumped into my top 10 song list almost instantly. Guest vocals, depth beyond reason, the guitar is fantastic and is used for more than just chugging. The lyrics are emotional, but not the annoying emotional, the emotional that actually makes you feel. Shifting from feelings of contempt, "My empty cup could never fill another", to more motivational sections of the song, "Tonight, when I look into the sky, this is why I am alive" Followed by harsh vocals screaming "So sing with me if you feel this feeling, I'M ALIVE!" What I enjoyed the most about this song besides the depth were the subtle instruments that were used in the background. This song also doesn't have a set chorus, it's like a story, without being a story. It just has that feeling to it. Fans of other genres will probably enjoy this song. Even if you aren't going to listen to the full album, just give this song a whirl. It's absolutely amazing.
Track Rating: 9.8/10 (Amazing)

Overall Album Rating:
7.675 (Good)

Final Words:
Several stand out songs, and one absolutely unforgettable song set this album apart from most albums in the genre, but it still falls victim to the generic traits that plague the post-hardcore genre.


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